Property development and gaming firm Belle Corporation is planning to expand its integrated gaming and resort business with plans to add more space to its City of Dreams Manila complex as well as scout for a second site in the country.
In an interview after the firm’s annual stockholders’ meeting, Belle Vice Chairman Willy Ocier said they are currently scouting for a site for its second integrated resort complex.
Noting that Bloomberry Resorts Corporation has been given license by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) to build and operate a second complex in Quezon City, Ocier said “we are applying based on the policy of a level playing field.”
“So far, we have not identified our second site but Pagcor has asked us to present it as soon as we have it. As soon as we have our second site, then we will apply. It can be anywhere in the Philippines,” he said.
Ocier explained that, “Pagcor said if you have a second site in mind, please apply, and then we will have to consider and approve. They’ve already said that it cannot be within the entertainment complex, which we agree. But that being said, Pagcor is open to other areas outside of Metro Manila specially if it’s tourism-related they will consider that.”
Meanwhile, Ocier said they are considering expanding the current site of COD Manila. “As you know the City of Dreams complex is operating on full capacity. We only have 6.2 hectares, and day in and day out we’re experiencing a lot of visitations and the casino, and non-gaming activities are normally full,” he said.
Thus, Ocier said “we’re actually looking for neighboring sites to expand, contiguous to COD. We’re looking at that possibility but anything will have to be approved by Pagcor.”
He noted that, “you can eyeball the whole place, there’s so much idle land. We can buy, we can joint-venture. You know with the opening of the NAIA Expressway, things have opened up.”
Ocier said that, “right across COD you see Ayala malls being built and fast coming up. We’ve already started talking to them about building a bridgeway connecting COD to Ayala which I think will be on stream soon.”
Belle’s subsidiary also has an 8,500 sq.m. lot which is “a stone-throw away from COD. We are planning that for non-gaming. And, because of that, we can also apply with PAGCOR for gaming space. We are still on the planning stage,” said Ocier.